Phil Culling on a bike

One less car, many more bikes

Walking Access Commission staff have taken down a car. That is, their contribution biking to and from work during February’s Aotearoa Bike Challenge has saved the equivalent of a car trip from Auckland to Wellington.

“We’re only a small team of 24 people, but we’re committed to active and public transport. All our Wellington staff walk, ride or use public transport regularly for their daily commute. That works well for us as an office,” says deputy chief executive and daily walk-commuter Phil Culling.

The Commission’s participation in Aotearoa Bike Month has grown steadily since 2018, when just one employee took part. Today nearly two-thirds of its staff are involved. The number of kilometres they cycled nearly doubled since last year. The number of commuting trips has tripled, and the amount of CO2 saved has more than doubled since last year.

The Commission’s newly recruited superstar cyclist Matt Grose has clocked up nearly a third of those kilometres. He says he bikes because life is too short not to. But with all that cycling around Wellington’s windy south coast, he might find he is living longer than he first anticipated.

Culling says the Bike Challenge is a fun way for the Commission to build its commitment to the Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP). CNGP accelerates the reduction of emissions within the public sector. 

“We want to reduce and remove our carbon emissions. But the real reason we do the work we do is to connect people to the outdoors,” says Culling. “Biking and walking is part of that — it links people to our environment and our communities.”